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Local Workers Benefit From Housing Makeover

Two young Renfrewshire men are getting a double boost from a project to regenerate housing in their local community.Martin Keenan and Andrew Hamilton are not only getting to see their community regenerated but they themselves are helping to carry out the work.Both men have been employed to work for Renfrewshire Council on the £6m makeover of the high flats at Gallowhill.

Martin Keenan, from Hunterhill, was taken on to work on the project through the ‘Adopt an Apprentice’ Scheme.

The scheme takes on local apprentices to finish their apprenticeships when their employers have gone out of business.

Martin said:  “I appreciate the opportunity to complete my apprenticeship with Renfrewshire Council, where I am gaining essential training and experience which will assist me for future employability.”

And for Andy in particular the project has extra significance because he actually lives in one of the blocks, Glencairn Court.  

Andy was taken on to work on the project after being made redundant from his previous job.

Andy said: “Having been made redundant, I cannot believe my luck at getting the opportunity to work with Renfrewshire Council, carrying out construction work that I enjoy while at the same time contributing to the upgrade of my local area.”

The project focuses on Glencairn Court and Gallowhill Court where flats will get new kitchens and bathrooms where required.  Internal works also includes rewiring, decoration and new flooring in the kitchen and bathroom. Common areas will also be improved – with new front doors and landings and entrance foyers redecorated.   

The blocks will also get external overcladding and enclosed balconies which will make them more energy efficient.  Along with environmental improvements to the area surrounding the blocks, this will improve the overall appearance of the buildings.

In addition, Glencairn Court is being converted specifically for older people and people with amenity needs and an extension will be added to provide a social space for residents to get together for meetings and social activities.

Councillor Kenny MacLaren, Renfrewshire Council’s Housing Spokesperson said: “This project will not only see major improvements to these two blocks it will benefit the wider area by making these blocks more attractive for people to live, provide more housing options for tenants in the area and reduce the high turnover of tenants, creating more stable communities within these blocks. On top of that it is helping to create jobs for local residents like Martin and Andrew.”

Work on Glencairn Court is expected to be complete by June 2012 with work on Gallowhill Court also due to start in June.

A third block Arkleston Court, will be demolished once all tenants have been rehoused.